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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Beta Glucan-containing mushrooms in the news again!

Updated: October 5th, 2018

Beta glucans are back in the media, this time is the form of a new mushroom extract.

This of course will not be surprising to our regular readers or anyone who has read The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, since the use of these compounds are part of the full-spectrum approach to canine cancer.  This approach means that we use all the tools at our disposal for dealing with this terrible disease….but we do so from an evidence-based approach to make sure we get the best possible outcome for managing a disease that does not (yet) have a cure.

However, many times we can deal with cancer as if it were a chronic disease.  If we have good life quality, and we also extend life on top of that, we have come out on top for our loved dogs.  So here’s some further support that the use of beta glucans in dogs with cancer is a good idea! (By the way, we have more information in other posts here and here and of course in the Guide).  We also discuss easy ways to get beta glucans into your dog.

An article recently published concerning an extract of coriolus versicolor, one of the mushrooms with the magical immune boosting beta glucans, showed nice imporovements in dogs with hemangiosarcoma.  Now, we have to remember this is currently a very hard to treat tumor and that dogs with only spleen removal (where the aggressive form cancer is most commonly found) life expectancy is only a couple of months.  Please remember that these numbers do not apply to a single dog, but are rough approximations, by the way.   The good news is that the extract seemed to increase survival time up to 199 days when used at high doses.  This is pretty impressive, even though the number of dogs in the study was low.

(Then again we knew beta glucans were good already which is why they are in our supplements, but we are happy the news is spreading).

The funny thing about this paper is the surrounding story however.  It reminds me of when I first stared using high dose natural compounds to try to get an edge on cancer patients.  The oncologists did not believe the results when they first came out. Here’s an except from an article from Science Daily, “The results were so surprising, in fact, that the researchers asked Penn Vet pathologists to recheck the dogs’ tissue biopsies to make sure that the dogs really had the disease.” (Click here for the whole article)

Go get um, full spectrum care!


Dr D

Leave a Comment

  1. Susan Kazara Harper on November 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Lisa, We have a couple really good blogs about anal gland carcinoma, and I hope you take the time to read them.
    Unless your vet is an oncologist I recommend you ask either for a referrel to a vet oncologist, and/or for a biopsy of the lump. It might very well be cancerous, but a biopsy will tell you definitely one way or the other, and give you a grade or stage of the situation. This all tells you a lot. And there is so much you can do. The decision whether or not to operate is yours, in conjunction with a vet of course. But if you find a specialist you may find another opinion. For nutraceutical support, take a look please at Apocaps ( which contain very high quality beta-glucans as well as many other very valuable ingredients in the cancer fight. Good luck. Remember, there is a lot you can do, and starting with definite information will surely help.

    • lisa bonaventura on November 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Thank you SO MUCH for your response

      • Susan Kazara Harper on November 4, 2014 at 8:33 pm

        Absolutely. It’s easy to feel lost and alone out there.
        You’re not.

  2. lisa bonaventura on November 3, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Hi everyone, I have a question. I have a 13.5 year old Scottie, she has always had problems with her anal glands, and had 2 surgeries for them. She gets them expressed every month or so, but i took her the vet over the weekend, and he did the anal glad express, and he found a 2cm size mass on her left side gland and said it was cancerous. I was of course devastated, he told me that they dont like to operate on older dogs, and that this type of cancer spreads fast IF they do. Has anyone had any expwerience with this type of cancer?? A friend of mine recommended Beta Glucan, i am interested, but Im not sure if theres certain kinds and brands that are better for this type of situation. If anyone has any information, it waould be greatly APPRECIATED! Thank you!

  3. Terri Pebsworth on April 3, 2013 at 1:07 am

    I am giving beta glucan 6ml/day in the liquid form from individual small paks to my 1 year old cat who had full-blown FIV (on my Chinese vet’s instructions). He claims he has been maintaining the health of FIV positive cats for years by merely giving them beta glucan daily. Beta glucan is VERY expensive here in Taiwan. I spend US$60/mo. just for my cat who is about 6 kg. I will probably need to start giving it to my 13 yr. old lab who is covered in fatty lumps and had some cancerous lump removed 2 years ago. He is a BIG boy at 40 kg. Beta Glucan for hi size would be about US$500/mp. Are there cheaper sources of the “right” quality beta glucan? Thanks!

  4. Laura on January 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Frankly this is rather minimal treatment to a Dr of Chinese Medicine.
    I’ve treated many cancer patients and use a much more in depth approach. We don’t single herb it….or promote a single commercial product, but use an entire protocol, diagnostic system to get to the root of the problem. It is always constitutional as well as a specific cancer entitiy in a specific process. Results can be excellent, extending lives by 5-6 years in many cases (dogs) So many vets are really doing herb or acupuncture 101, with little training.
    Dr Cheryl Schwartz is one of the exceptions. She lives in Oakland, has a web site as well as an excellent book called 4 paws, 4 directions. As someone who has practiced and is licensed in this field for 25 years, (human TCM) I recommend her.

  5. Michelle on January 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm


    I was reading that you have been able to find the mushroom compound I’m-Yunity..I’ve been trying to figure out where to purchase them and haven’t had much luck.. My dog has hemangiosarcoma as well and I was wondering where I could find the product…If you or anyone knows where I can locate this product please let me know…I would greatly appreciate it.


  6. Michelle on January 22, 2013 at 11:13 am

    My Victorian Bulldog was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma a few months ago..She had a 6lbs tumor removed in her abdomen…the tumor was located on the abdominal wall as opposed to her spleen which I understand is the most common location…She recently completed 5 rounds of chemo and is now taking a low dose of chemo and a medication specifically for arthritis which is what her doctor recommended for her type of cancer.. I am also giving her fish oil, milk thistle, vitamin c, turmeric, flax seed oil (not everyday), and a multi-vitamin..I have been trying to figure out where to get the mushroom compound and the vet I’ve been working with has also tried with no luck… I noticed that there are a few posts on the site stating that people have purchased and are giving it to their fur-kids…I would really appreciate someone getting back with me and letting me know how I should go about purchasing the product.. We’ve been fighting this up till this point and I honestly believe that the mushroom compound would be the next best route to take in Missy’s treatment….Thank you so much!

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on January 29, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Dear Michelle
      i use the K-9 immunity product which is easy to obtain. I would also definitely read the Guide- your supplement program can be spruced up a bit (apocaps…cut the turmeric…vit C should be IV not oral…etc)
      Dr D

  7. Lynne G. Siegel R.N. on November 16, 2012 at 5:26 am

    I have just added I’m-Yunity Capsules to my dog Star’s daily regime. I give her 3 400mg capsules, 2 times a day, and have been giving them for a week, now, after building up gradually from 1 capsule, 2 times a day. The potency, apparently is 48%, as compared to another brand, MushroomScience,which labels theirs as 400mgs as well, but the strength says it is 29%. Not sure why there is a difference? I have both, and started Star on the lower strength while waiting for the shipment of the I=Y. She was diagnosed with Hemangio, subcutaneous type, a month ago, after 2 yrs of treating a hock wound, that we thought was simply an infected lump/bump that a lab has…she has other fatty lumps that tested benign so..this was treated after culturing, and had more than 4 bacteria growths that were resistant to just about everything, until finally she had become septic when it began to spread 4 months ago. Her rear leg became very swollen, and the vet was afraid to biopsy, fearing the infection would spread systemically, so, at home, I was giving injections of meropenem, 2 times a day for 2 weeks before they finally removed 4 lesions and one lymph node. All lesions were removed with clean margins except for one, the original, and the lymph node behind her hock, her lymph nodes in her groin were huge, but not showing cancer cells, just inflammatory cells, by aspiration, chest xrays and abdominal ultrasounds normal. bloodwork normal other than elevated alk phos. Star is 10, a black lab mix, looking like a little bit of shepherd? or golden? she most likely has the genetics that are against her. She had mast cell cancer at age 2 1/2 yrs old and chronic anal gland impactions infections for the first 3 yrs of her life, along with intolerance of all dog foods. I switched her to a raw carnivore diet with excellent results at that time, with almost no medical issues until this all happened. At this point her leg looks worse than ever, the tumors have come back with a vengeance, and the surgeon basically said we have a few months left, go home and spend quality time together, this cancer cell is not treatable. we are, and I am making plans for euthanasia at home. I am presently giving Star Tramadol and these mushroom capsules, and an occasional tumeric and fish oil capsule when I can sneak them by her- she finds them in her raw meatballs or steak (she’s really clever!) But she still eats her turkey necks and bony raw foods with gusto, has a great appetite and drinks. She hobbles and barks, and still wants to protect me from dangerous stuff outside- this dog is one incredible fighter. Is there something else I could do for her? By the time I get your book or order anything, I’m afraid we’ll have put her down, She’s really end stage, the lumps have spread over her rear leg, chest wall, and back. I know I’m grasping at straws, but..I just thought I would ask.

  8. Tammy G on September 26, 2012 at 5:16 am

    I received this extract last week and have our dog on it now. He has t-cell lymphoma and is running out of options for treatment. The supplement is called “I’m Yunity” I hope it helps him maintain a good quality of life.

  9. Albert-G on September 26, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Very re-assuring news! Our 71/2 year old Boxer Girl Katie was diagnosed with stage 3 Mast Cell last Jan after having a slow growing mass removed from the area where her sternum meets her abdomen. I read about Corolius, Turmeric, Venus Fly Trap extract and the lowfat cottage cheese blended with flax oil treatments.
    At the time of her diagnosis I went over her with a fine tooth comb finding a ‘loose’ growth on her shoulder and a small pea sized hard pimple like growth near her front arm pit.
    My dogs have always been on a balanced raw diet, so no change there, but I added those supplements mentioned above to her diet.
    The growth on her shoulder had grown. I feared the worst and didn’t want it to matastisize, so I had her cleaned-up 10 days ago and both growths were benign!
    I’ve been taking small amounts of the same supplements and have noticed a couple of ‘hitchhikers’ disappear from my skin too!
    At this juncture I am very impressed with the results, elated actually, of this alternative treatment. Besides, $15k spent the year before on another Boxer left me broke and disappointed (mildly put) when the chemo killed his bone marrow after 18 months of treatment.

  10. Kris Graham on September 21, 2012 at 2:24 am

    I read this article a few days ago, and frankly, it made me sad. I wish I had known about this mushroom before we had Maddie put to sleep. I probably would’ve tried treatment with it.

    Also, what is your feeling on using high dosage IV Vitamin C for cancer treatment, Dr. D? Is that feasible in dogs? I know humans use this, and I have read that it works. Of course, you have to be able to tease through the b.s. on the internet, so perhaps this treatment is hyped. I have read that IV Vitamin C works well for breast and prostate cancer. Never heard it used for canines, though. What are your thoughts?

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